THE ALIGNMENT

(Styrásh: "hanthamerán") Category defining the attitute of an indivual towards the world in general and thus also shedding light on the interpretation of the role the individual has gained for itself as part of this world.

While humans use denotations for alignments like "good" and "evil" and add attributes like "neutral" and "chaotic" to form alignments which reflect individual philosophies, elves derive alignments from their mythical theory of the Elements. The elven philosopher Celedor from the Aellenrhim elves describes the elven interpretation as follows:

"According to the will of the High Goddess it is our task in life to find meaning and destiny within ourselves, because deep in our hearts the truth of the Dream is contained. The Hanthamerán (alignment) in this reality is not assigned to us from birth, though we all are born as children of a certain element, be it as elf, human, dwarf or orc [...] But the alignment of each single person is not pre-defined like being part of a certain race. In the course of a lifetime it is our duty (and no-one can escape it) to decide which element our spirit belongs to. Humans can turn to beings of Fire, elves may turn to follow the principles of Water, orcs may act like if they were earthborn, yea, and even dwarves may discover the spirit of Wind. [...]

Once a final alignment is found (usually not before one's death) one won't be able to change it very easily anymore, unless you're endowed with a strong will. This is very important to notice. You travel many paths during your lifetime, but among the quantity of decisions you will find out about the quality of your deciding, which is something completely different from the paths you go. To find one's alignment therefore isn't a question of the quantity of decisions you do but of discovering their inner qualities. Even if you decide not to do decisions anymore you in fact decide. Depending on the context of this decision of not taking part actively in a decision you may in such cases either tend to the element of Water (in case you're acting indifferently) or Fire (destructivly). [...]

Alignment is a very personal thing. However, there are magical means how alignments can be forced in a certain direction violently. Human sorcerers at the time of the War of the Chosen found ways to force an individual to deny the powers of certain elements within the one on whom the spell is cast upon, this way e.g. turning a human into a creature of Fire, a man-demon, or to stone (in the case of an Earth transformation). The spell is very powerful, draining lots of energies from the caster, and will only work properly if there is a certain affinity towards the remaining element within the target - if not, the victim is likely to die instantly. According to the already mentioned fact that alignments cannot be changed very easily it is also nearly impossible to restore the initial state of a being whose existence has been reduced to a certain element. Even with magical means it is not possible to bring a Xeuá (the spirit of one's self), which has suffered terribly, back to life."

-- Celedor: "Of the Elements", p.46 ff. and 122

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